IANS Review: ‘Undekhi Season 2’: Honest performances keeps you glued to the screen (IANS Rating: ***)

Series: ‘Undekhi Season 2’ (Streaming on SonyLiv)

Duration: Approx. 38 minutes per episode (Total 10 Episodes)

Director: Ashish R. Shukla

Cast: Harsh Chhaya, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Surya Sharma, Anchal Singh, Ankur Rathee, Apeksha Porwal, Nandish Sandhu, Meiyang Chang, Ajay Bhardwaj and Diwakar Kumar Jha.

IANS Rating: ***

‘Undekhi’ is a crime drama that revolves around the influential and criminally inclined Atwals of Manali, and though the series does not start as a wry and moving family drama, it gets evolved into one, with a crime-ridden, morally-depraved world of the drug cartel and all the characters that come with it.

‘Undekhi Season 2’ takes off from the cliff-hanger of its previous season where DSP Ghosh (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) and Teji (Anchal Singh)- the daughter-in-law of the Atwal family try to save a very critical Koyal (Apeksha Porwal), the younger sister of the slain dancer from the clutches of Rajinder aka Rinku (Surya Sharma), the Atwal family’s principal trouble-shooter.

This season begins with Teji trying to smuggle Koyal out of Manali in an ambulance. En route, she takes the help of a lackey – Timma (Diwakar Kumar Jha). But when the local policemen intercept Timma, the ambulance they are travelling in rolls off the road and falls into a stream, and its occupants go missing.

Now with Teji under the scanner at the Atwal home and Koyal absconding at large, the series takes us through a roller-coaster journey where the family’s ambitious plans of expanding the narcotic business with an Israeli company is under constant threat.

The plot navigates us through a complex and convoluted path, which at times throws you off gear. While Teji and her husband Daman (Ankur Rathee) try to salvage their family reputation, Rinku has to deal with cheating and betrayal within his coterie of trustworthy employees.

The series unravels a series of blackmails, loyalties and betrayals, escapes and captures, failures and triumphs, all of which appear lacklustre and steeped in mediocrity. But what keeps you glued to the screen is the sincerity of the cast – each one of them delivers honest performances.

Of all the characters in the series, it is Dibyendu Bhattacharya as the DSP Ghosh, who often hums Bengali songs, stands out for his nuanced performance.

Unfortunately, he does not have much in the series except for trying to trail Koyal in vain.

Apeksha Porwal is intriguing as Koyal- the lite and agile distressed sister out to seek revenge. She is striking in her demeanour but does not make an impact as her character is poorly written.

Similar is the case with Meiyang Chang, who essays the role of the mysterious Abhaya- who rescues Koyal and is an accomplice in her mission.

Harsh Chhaya is trite and over-the-top as Papaji, the loathsome, ruthless, abusive, and crass patriarch of the family who enjoys his drinks and relies on a single scowling facial expression mouthing cuss words throughout the series.

His character is side-lined by Rinku, essayed by Surya Sharma, whose every action propels the narrative forward.

Surya Sharma, despite having a towering personality, is not intimidating and thus makes for a weak villain.

Similarly, his “yes-men” appear as mere pawns in the plot.

The action drama in the last episode, with most of the characters on a shooting spree, is poorly choreographed and a big laugh.

Overall, the series boasts decent production values and is engaging but unilluminating in terms of dramas of this genre.

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